Although winter does not officially start for another few days here in the North Eastern United States, it's certainly made its impending opening. I thought the best way to experience this season's first snowstorm was up close and personal - so into the forest I went. My woodstove warmed canvas tent provided a nice warm pocket tucked in amongst the pines and cedars. I sat and watched the snow fall as I listened to it patter on the roof.
Watching nature change from one appearance to another is an instructive experience. Official start dates mean very little to the natural world. Seasons flow from one to the other at their own pace and that pace is not exactly dictated by what the calendar shows.
Seeing the brown of the forest floor and the green of the tall pines slowly change to undisturbed white reminded me that nature manifests itself in such an authentic way. A snowflake does not compare itself to other snowflakes and think it is less beautiful. When the trees are whispering to each other all are included in the conversation. Stones sit with regal certainty in their place. Streams wander the landscape following where their hearts lead. Seasons shift from one to another organically and gracefully in their own time.
Nature is a most amazing teacher regardless of whether you are looking at it from your head in a scientific way or from your heart, experientially. Nature teaches all who come to it in a way that accommodates who we are while reminding us that we are not separate from it. We are nature. We just forget. In that forgetting we lose touch with our own beauty, authenticity, inclusion, and grace. Just as importantly, we lose touch with these qualities in others as well.
As the Full Cold Moon/Moon Before Yule/Long Nights Moon appeared last week on December 12th - pairing with the Geminid meteor showers, I encourage us all to take time to reflect on the meaning that arises for each of us. In essence, these events herald a time for communication; between our own logical mind and the bigger, broader picture. It is a time of culmination; of building better relationships with ourselves, others, and the Natural world.
During this time of the Maya Calendar we have moved from the Trecena (thirteen-day Maya weeks) of E'e to Kan. It's been a time of giving thanks for all that the Road/Path of life gives to us and in being networked with all that's within and all around us.
As we engage with nature's flow and move fully this season, along with the excitement and stress of the holidays, let us all remember: We are singular and plural at the same time. We are all in this together as one. Let us remember our diversity and uniqueness. Our strength and our frailty. Our authenticity and grace.
Please remember to take some time to venture outside. Wherever you live, whatever climate you are in. Feel the cold or warm on your skin and the snow, rain or sun on your face. Gather around a roaring fire in the wild, or sit by a fireplace, or even a candle. Listen, as the harsh winds or soft breezes caress the trees, which exchange their secrets for you to hear. Watch as this new season takes its hold of the landscape, lovingly.
As the seasons shift, and as you shift with them, take some time to explore what OMEC and Shamanic Reiki Worldwide have to offer. Programs, books, and projects are waiting for you to engage, enjoy, and transform through.
OMEC has accomplished so much this year - sponsoring a US visit of Maya Women Weavers, funding the Spanish publication on ancient Maya wisdom for a community in Guatemala, initiating the Pillar Point project on the Olympic Peninsula in partnership with CoastSavers.org, publishing a Siberian Myths and Legends book by the Shor people, initiating production of a Johnny Moses storytelling book - and so much more!
We have accomplished so much because of you, our community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your interest and, importantly, for your financial support!
May whatever holidays you honor bring you peace, healing, and wholeness.
From my heart to yours,
Christopher T. Franza / Board of Directors, OMEC
Olympic Mountain Earthwisdom Circle, OMEC is beyond excited to announce their first land project on the Juan de Fuca Straits of the Olympic Peninsula.
It's been a long-time dream and it's finally come true. OMEC has entered into partnership with Coastsavers.org whose fiscal agent is the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. With this relationship; OMEC has officially adopted beautiful Pillar Point Beach to help keep the beautiful Olympic Peninsula coastline pristine.
It is a spot where folks frequent to harvest clams but it is so much more than that. Visiting the beach allows opportunity to sit on large ancient drift wood as you watch the local eagles and other wildlife go about their day in their natural habitat.
Join Lori & Vic as they lead a group several times a year to physically clean the beach, then offer a simple ceremony or land & water blessing afterwards.
When you do, you will notice that the experience offers something refreshing and new. You may gaze through the mist to catch a glimpse of mountains on the other side of the strait or walk the mud flats when the tide is out spotting tiny crabs scurrying between crevasses of tidal rocks on a crisp sunny morning.
This project is a beautiful way to tangibly give back to the land and waters, and help build our community in the Pacific Northwest.
Somehow this place changes us; it's a true energetic hot spot that connects us to the marine life, the land and the waters in a very powerful and moving way. As we help keep Pillar Point's coastline gleaming for all inhabitants, we connect to the heart of the land and the waters in a deep and profound way.
Whether you live locally or from out of town; join a coastal clean-up day or simply stop and bask in the beauty and power of it.
Our official 2019 Coastal Clean-up days ended on Saturday Sept 21st. But we invite you to join us for one or all of our official Coastal Clean-Up Days for 2020.
April 18, 2020
July 25, 2020
Sept 19, 2020
We will have plastic bags and plastic gloves as well as paper & pen to write down what you find for research purposes.
Please bring anything you need. You may want to consider wearing good shoes for muddy and rocky conditions and long sleeves & hat for protection. Bring your own water bottle & lunch.
After we clean, we will break for lunch in community and then offer a simple land and water ceremony or blessing.
Please visit our website at https://www.eomec.org/pillar-point
And for directions or other local information please visit coastsavers.org
You can also contact Lori Ferry' at Reiki4lifenow@gmail.com with any questions or to chip in.
For the EARTH ~
I can't wait to see you there
From my heart to your heart
Part of OMEC's vision has always been to find a path that gives voice to the indigenous wisdom where the organization was conceived. This vision recently took root when OMEC partnered with Johnny Moses to publish his story "The Medicine Clothes That Look at the People."
Johnny Moses is a traditional storyteller from the Tulalip tribe of the Pacific Northwest. Johnny's traditional name is Whis.Stem.Men.Knee, which means Walking Medicine Robe. He is a healer and spiritual leader who carries the Si.Si.Wiss - Sacred Breath, Sacred Life - teachings of his people.
Sandra Ingerman MA, describes Johnny and his works by noting that:
"Johnny Moses is a legendary storyteller! During a time on the planet when so many people have lost their way, Johnny Moses shares the traditional stories that create a road map leading us back home to ourselves, and to the Earth. I was so touched by his story The Medicine Clothes That Look at the People."
We live in a time of hyper-rationality, where it can appear that something has been lost. Many people find it difficult to connect with deeper meaning and with a sense of purpose that is greater than themselves. The ancestral voices speaking through Johnny's stories offer us an opportunity to turn inward and experience a deeper sense of ourselves and the world.
As his traditional name implies, Johnny's stories carry medicine, the ability to heal. The stories he tells were passed down from his ancestors and carry the power of love, of our connection to one another and to the Earth. "It is good to go back to where your roots are from," Johnny's ancestors told him. "The spirits of the mountains are with us." Johnny's stories offer a glimpse into how we can be connected in spirit with one another and approach this world with love in our hearts, regardless of the apparent external circumstances.
We at OMEC are honored to bring Johnny's stories to print, and to offer you this journey back to the roots. We also have a Johnny Moses storytelling video for sale! May the spirits of the mountains be with you, may you hear the ancestors' whispers in the wind and in the rustling leaves, may you hear their messages in birdsongs, and feel their presence in the warm rays of the sun.
I also wanted to mention that OMEC VP and master drum maker Rob Murphy has offered one of his drums for sale, with 50% of the purchase price going to support OMEC projects. The 11" buffalo drum has a painted white buffalo on its face, and is housed on an octagonal cedar frame. It comes with a handcrafted drum bag and beater. The price is $300, please contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in purchasing this beautiful drum.
Please visit the OMEC website for more detail on Johnny Moses and other programs, events and projects we have to offer.
From My Heart to Yours,
Jeff Eissfeldt, OMEC Board Member
Deep Healing in the Highlands of Guatemala
It was an early morning when I read the few sentences that described the trip I have been longing to take my entire life. It kind of went like this:
"You are invited on a life-changing pilgrimage through the stunning mountain and lake regions of the Guatemala Highlands. Learn about, and experience ancient Maya healing ways in this all new immersion that takes us into the heart of a culture that is steeped in nature's magic and knows how to access its power..."
True to the description, the artful way of unwinding from my daily life was magical, profound and gentle. A sacred container held for us as we let go of expectations and agendas. Encouraging us to step into the mystery as each day unfolded in a life-shifting way. The participants, no longer strangers became a circle of journeyers; feeling safe and supported as we shared our authentic hearts and experiences.
I found myself fully immersed as I awoke each day with a cacophony of birds, the scent of exotic flowers wafting in the air and stunning sunrises. We were nourished with fresh local cuisine prepared daily with such joy that slowing down to savor the scent and flavor of each bite became somewhat of a spiritual meditation for me.
The journey was rich as we immersed within the beauty and sacredness of the land, the powerful waters of Lake Atitlan and the open-heart of the people and Maya Wisdom Keepers. Even the air felt different; I often recall the energetic tingles that I felt as the breezes gently touched my skin.
We were seen as a sacred circle and not considered the 'proverbial tourist'; we each introduced ourselves to the Elders, and were directly included in the teachings and learnings. We were encouraged to connect with the wisdom and healing that ceremony and ritual had to offer. We immersed ourselves and felt the energetic power of our personal and deep healing journeys; and sometimes we wept as we witnessed the sheer beauty of it.
Time slowed down, a day felt like a blessed week, and a week felt like an adored month of 'sacred time'. I felt my own heart expanded and a vibrant, blissful transformation as I received the most profound healing of my life.
Guatemala is an expanded- soul-touching passage and I feel such deep gratitude to our accomplished and adored guide and the travel team that helped navigate and support each step of the way on this truly intentional life-shifting adventure.
Now that I have returned from Guatemala and back to my not-so-ordinary life with my heart wide-open; I want to say to those reading this; the mystery is within the journey. Only the experience of it can provide the opportunity to learn, heal and transform. Each step, each event that is revealed supports you on your sacred quest. Specific details purposely left untold so you the journeyer can experience it fresh and unfiltered in the magic that you deserve.
Please take a look at the Olympic Mountain Earthwisdom Circle, OMEC website to read more about the healing, transforming and wisdom that the Ancient Healing Powers of the Guatemala Highlands, the Lake Atitlan Region and the Maya Wisdom Keepers have to offer. I also invite you to view the video created by Mitch Mattraw that highlights the magic and the beauty of this sacred journey at
As part of OMEC's mission to support indigenous wisdom ways, the journey to Guatemala offered us an opportunity to support The Women Weavers of San Juan La Laguna. During this 2019 journey Mitch Mattraw embarked on a film project to give voice to these women and their vision. Please visit http://www.eomec.org/maya-women-weavers-project.html to learn more. We are also thrilled to announce that we are supporting two of the women weavers in an upcoming trip to New York where they will be engaging in several events to share their wisdom and their textiles! More info on that to come!
And most exciting.... REGISTRATION FOR THE 2020 SACRED JOURNEY TO GUATEMALA IS NOW OPEN! Please visit http://www.eomec.org/guatemala-highlands.html for more information and to register!
From my heart to yours,
In the Northern Hemisphere we have crossed the threshold into spring. Depending on your latitude, you might see flowers in full bloom or a crust of slowly melting snow. Like wildlife emerging from hibernation, we are shaking off the dust of winter's rest and feeling the call of creation and renewal.
Here at my home in the mountains of the Northeast we are always a few weeks behind, so we celebrate "mud season" by exchanging snow boots for galoshes and artfully arranging buckets under the drips from leaking roofs. The trees are only just hinting at new leaves, but that does not stop the birds from returning. Each morning adds a new voice to the dawn chorus as the winged ones make their way north, and home.
One needs patience to live here, to wait for spring while others are already digging in gardens and lighting their grills. Garden magazines and social media posts invite a longing for things to be as they are not. The more we get ahead of Nature in our minds, the more we lose our sense of place - the awareness of our connection and belonging to the part of the Earth we are standing on.
As our relationship with the natural world breaks down, so do we. A reconnection to Nature opens us to heal and transform our bodies, minds, and spirits. A growing movement in support of the Olympic Mountain EarthWisdom Circle (OMEC) is the HEARTH project. Independently facilitated HEARTH Circles, based on Community Healing Circles described in Shamanic Reiki (Roberts and Levy), offer community support to find our way back to the Earth.
Because HEARTH Circles are local and community-focused, they lay a path for creating the deep inner knowing of place. Each circle reflects what is happening in the moment, where you are, right outside your door. HEARTH facilitators lay seasonal altars, guide meditations or shamanic journeys, and introduce healing practices that help us see, sense, and feel the beauty of the natural world. Through the giving and receiving of Shamanic Reiki and other energy healing modalities in the HEARTH Circle, we connect in community not just with each other but with the Earth herself.
The "HEARTH" name is both a nod to the central place in homes where families gather for food and warmth, and a combination of the words that reflect the intention of the project: "heart," "earth," and "art." Attending a HEARTH Circle is self-care; the practices and sharing open your heart to release stress and stuck emotional energy. By fostering a connection to the Earth, HEARTH Circles provide a setting for awakened discussion and action around ecological and social issues in communities. Within the sacred space held for a HEARTH Circle, you can unveil your art - your unique embodiment of life-affirming creativity.
The creative energy of spring is my inspiration as I plan the monthly Community HEARTH and Healing Circles I will facilitate this season. During each HEARTH Circle there is meditation, the chance to both give and receive energy, and a ritual of naming and then sending energy to far-off beings and situations in need of healing. My underlying desire, however, is to simply offer the folks in our small, rural mountain community a space to gather with like-hearted people, for both light, friendly networking and deep sharing, where everyone's art is honored.
Donations given at HEARTH Circles support OMEC's mission to reconnect us with deep mystery, encourage a sacred and responsible relationship with the Earth, and preserve the ancient wisdom ways of indigenous people and ancestral lands.
Visit OMEC's website to find a listing of existing HEARTH Circles or to discover how to create a HEARTH Circle where you are. Your HEARTH experience ripples out into widening circles of connection, community, and deep wisdom revealed. And, please, take a moment to observe and feel the energy of spring in the place you call home. Oh, and watch out for mud if you aren't wearing your galoshes.
Debbie Philp, HEARTH Project Committee Member, OMEC
As March, the third Month of 2019 is upon us, I am reminded of the symbolic significance of the number three in Mayan cosmology. Three signifies the earliest beginnings of action and movement. We who live in the Northern Hemisphere have been in the hibernation stasis of deep winter, and now buried within the Earth are the beginnings of change and movement, as life stirs anew.
For those of us who choose to honor and connect with the wisdom of the Earth and the indigenous ways that emerge from it, we are each being asked to consider that our every action and movement is part of the interconnection that Nature exemplifies.
Separation is merely an illusion in shamanic cosmology, and this means that as we create our lives. We must remember that the microcosm of our individual selves serves the macrocosm of the whole.
A few times a year on a remote beach called Playa Ostional near Nosara, CostaRica, a remarkable event occurs called 'The Arribada' or The Arrival. Over a period of a few days, hundreds of thousands of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles return to the beach of their birth just as their parents did decades earlier to lay and bury their eggs and continue the cycle of life. Some of these Turtles have been tagged and studied by oceanographers, and despite having traveled in the open sea to places as far away as India, they always make the great sojourn back to the same small Central American beach, many having not been returned there since the day that they were born.
Turtles have limited vision, and it has been theorized by scientists that they navigate the vast ocean by observing the sun and stars, feeling into the Earth's electromagnetic magnetic fields and connecting with the ocean currents. Just prior to their massive emergence onto the beach, under the cover of night and in conjunction with the moon cycles and its effect on the tides which the Turtles will ride into shore, thousands of them gather in huge groups called 'flotillas'.
On what scientists have only been able to describe as 'some secret signal', they arrive in such huge numbers that any natural predators who might otherwise take the opportunity for a quick meal are frightened away, leaving the Turtles in peace to continue a process that has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. Turtle eggs are a delicacy to humans as well as animals, but the Costa Ricans as natural conservationists allow for egg gathering only at certain times and in regulated numbers in order to ensure that enough Turtles make it back to the ocean when they hatch from their buried nests in the sand about a month and a half later.
It would not be an understatement to say that the Arribada of the Turtles is made possible through a cooperative effort of the sun, moon, stars, winds, oceans, earth, animals, and people. The Turtles are at the center of the universe because the entire universe conspired to make them happen, and we, as limitless beings are no different. Nature's immeasurable interconnectivity and holism serve as a template to show us who we are, and if it is a cooperative and connected universe then that means that we are each an inextricable part of that interdependence. In Polynesian thought, akasubstance is the etheric material that connects everything; cords and tendrils of interconnective matter that can reach any infinite destination, fueled only with the rainbow light of our consciousness. We create unity by affirming it with our hearts and minds.
We at the Olympic Mountain Earth Wisdom Circle OMEC, invite you into this unitive consciousness with us. Through our projects, events, and trainings we seek to bridge Earth-Wisdom with the modern world and to preserve and support the people and cultures that have held ancient wisdom ways in their hearts and continue to gift it to us now. We encourage you to explore our offerings, support our projects, attend our classes, make a tax deductible donation, or simply feel inspired to align the actions and movements that you make in your own life with the Earth and the limitless all. Learn more about us, and become involved at http://www.eomec.org/home.html and
From Our Hearts to Yours,
Jonathan Hammond, OMEC Board of Directors
Last September I had the honor and opportunity to be a part of Llyn Roberts' first Wild Wisdom Wilderness retreat in the Hoh Rainforest. As the week's experience unfolded, I realized a number of things about the experience and the people who came from across the country to immerse themselves into the mystery and magic of this "old growth" forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world. The Hoh started working its magical influence on these participants even before their arrival in Sequim to head off in our small caravan to the Hoh.
In the months and weeks before, through emails and teleconference calls, they had already built a community-setting up meal preparation schedules, dietary concerns, shower schedules, teaming up as roommates or deciding to embrace the sacredness of the space by opting to camp out on the gravel bar.
So, when we finally met in person, it was not as a group of strangers, but rather friends coming together to embark on a grand adventure. And, the Hoh did not disappoint. Leaving the chaos and frenzy of everyday life behind, they allowed the Hoh to embrace them and gently reveal it's secrets.
I experienced such awe and deep respect while witnessing the changes and transformations that were evidenced in the tears of joy and healing plainly visible on their faces and also in the way our group moved their feet in a slower and more sacred gait on Mother Earth.
I will not share where or what happened in these magical spaces, except that they can only be experienced-words can never do justice to what the Hoh shares with those blessed to receive it's gifts.
Llyn offers multiple opportunities each year for those who are called to come and experience the magic of the Hoh's ancient wisdom.
As always, it was my great pleasure to be able to share Grandfather Fire (our First Ancestor) during the evenings of storytelling. Grandfather Fire loves for his children to gather around him to listen to stories of sacred witness.
The Olympic Mountain EarthWisdom Circle, OMEC, was conceived and continues to be inspired by the Hoh Rainforest and River Valley in the Olympic Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, USA. We're thrilled to connect people with the lands and nature beings of the Hoh. Lastly, we're excited to announce that the Gold Nautilus award winning book, Speaking With Nature - co-authored by Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts - also conceived in the Hoh, is now available as an audible!
Please visit our OMEC website for a complete description of the programs, events and projects we have to offer.
From my heart to yours,
Rob Murphy / Board of Directors
The Gregorian New Year has started and we are past the bright lights, hectic pace, and rich meals that seem to be hallmarks of the holiday season here in the modern world. Wrapping paper, ornaments, and garland have been put away for another year and my home feels in some way empty without all of the twinkling distraction that comes with our cultural ideas of how to celebrate. When the festivities of the season have come to a close I find myself in the same frame of mind each year. What now? How do I embrace this new time that is devoid of the frenetic energy of the past weeks? What is waiting to unfold in this fresh space? What endeavor is asking for me to lean in and make real?
Just like the New Moon on January 6th, this time of the New Year is a time of incubation. The Moon is not absent in this phase it just rises and sets close to and with the Sun. An act of symmetry and dichotomy at the same time. The Sun, past the Winter Solstice, slowly spending more time with us. Luna's shadowy, hidden, secret, fluid energy waiting to reveal itself all in good time as the days and nights progress. The Sun and the Moon in their never ending dance across the sky.
Here in the north the land lies quietly beneath its blanket of snow. The wild life of the forest sleeps or moves slowly and quietly. The streams, lakes, and rivers burble beneath gleaming ice almost as if deeply dreaming in their dark depths. Trees creak in the cold chill and biting wind. There are sharp cracks from limbs falling from their heights as if the trees are shedding old ideas and outdated patterns. All is dormant, waiting, musing, and drawn in for the deep part of winter.
In looking out at the natural world I see that my feeling of post-holiday emptiness is just a trick of the mind. In truth it is a landscape that is pregnant with possibility. Mother Earth, Pachamama, does not leave empty spaces. There is always something present. We just have to be open to looking for what it is. Her gifts are all around us waiting to be appreciated on their own terms, not by our preconceived notions.
This quiet time of the Earth is one of her greatest gifts. A time to reflect on what has gone before and also a time to rest, contemplate, and seek within for what will support us in the coming year. A time to ask of ourselves what is waiting within me to be expressed. A time to prepare and hold space for whatever manifests.
The OMEC mission is to encourage a sacred and responsible relationship with the Earth and preserve the ancient wisdom ways of indigenous shamanic cultures. We are all indigenous to this precious planet that we call home. So I would like to extend to you a few invitations.
I invite you to go out upon the Earth in this fallow time of year and leave offerings to the dreaming streams, the slow and sleeping wildlife, the musing trees, the enduring stones, the whipping wind, and all the spirits of the land. Birdseed, cornmeal, tobacco, your breath, song, prayer, or your presence are gifts that we can give to the land in appreciation for all we receive from her. As we follow the energy of the season and go within, take a moment to extend out as well. As we are a part of nature you just may find that in your giving you find that you are appreciating and nourishing all of yourself as well.
I also invite you to take some time exploring the many offerings here at OMECand Shamanic Reiki Worldwide. We offer many programs and books, as well as participation in projects that speak to how we can walk this earth in a more conscious way bringing us closer together in community.
Brightest New Year's Blessings,
Christopher T. Franza / Board of Directors, OMEC